Community 31.01.17

First Edible Playground for a Sheffield School

Oasis Academy Don Valley on the Olympic Legacy Park has been selected from a shortlist of Sheffield schools to develop an Edible Playground with the charity Trees for Cities.
Trees for Cities, a national charity, will transform areas of the school’s existing playground into an Edible Playground, designed specifically for the school and its community, thanks to a donation from parenting retailer Mothercare that is supporting the charity’s UK operations.
Trees for Cities has been working in schools to plant fruit and nut trees since 2000. Its first flagship Edible Playground was created at a primary school in London in 2009. There are currently over 50 Edible Playgrounds in the UK with a further 40 to be rolled out over the next three years.
Edible Playgrounds are functional growing spaces that help to bring the curriculum alive and provide a fun and practical way to teach children about growing food and healthy eating. They include enough raised beds for every year group to grow in, a greenhouse, wormery, compost area, tools for pupils, an irrigation system, outside classroom and all soil, plants and fruit trees.
Trees for Cities will also work with teachers from Oasis to embed growing into the curriculum, engage their students, and develop the school’s horticultural skills. Health and wellbeing of students, teachers, staff and families is a priority for Oasis Academy Don Valley.
Thomas Horton, Hub Leader at Oasis Hub Don Valley: “We are delighted to work with Trees for Cities to develop an Edible Playground in Sheffield. The academy is rightly proud of its rich and diverse curriculum which has a focus on experiential learning and first-hand experiences. This will not only be a wonderful addition to academy life, but a great asset to the wider community, allowing us to instil healthy habits at an early age and helping people feel more connected to their food.”
David Elliott, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities said: “A growing number of children are becoming obese as young as four or five years old, NHS figures have shown, sparking renewed concern about the obesity crisis. Our Edible Playgrounds programme addresses several key areas of concern around children’s health. They get students excited about learning where food comes from, that healthy food can be the easy choice – in and out of school – and encourage physical activity. We are grateful to Mothercare for their generous donation and the opportunity to bring our Edible Playground and tree planting programmes to Sheffield.”